Union: Road costs could rise as Edmonton closes recycling site

Content of the article

Edmonton is ending a city-run concrete and asphalt recycling program, and a union of public sector workers fears it will make road construction more expensive.

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

CUPE Local 30 is challenging the city administration’s decision to quietly shut down the aggregate recycling program that collects waste from renovation, construction and demolition projects. The city confirmed that this was decided in May.

Content of the article

Union president Eric Lewis said that while no jobs will be lost, ending the scheme will cut off access to cheap materials used to build the foundations on which the roads are built and to quality control.

« Their concern is that if we get lower quality materials, our roads will end up having more potholes, may deteriorate faster, » he said on Friday.

« Our roads are what our citizens and residents use every day, and you think you would like to have some sort of control over that, and not hand it over to the private sector. »

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

Until recently, Edmontonians could drop off asphalt, brick and cobblestone, concrete, gravel and stucco in two places for free. Some materials are still available for purchase according to the city’s website.

But some workers worry that private companies will also start charging for disposal, Lewis said, which could drive up the costs of the city’s construction projects even further.

« I’ve been in the trash in my 20 years with the city, and I’ve seen the private sector fail a few times where the city’s collectors actually had to go into the private sector and clean up their mess, » said he declared.

« I think we’ve seen it with a lot of other projects in the city, when they’ve been privatized, where they haven’t been on schedule or quality, public transit for example…if we’re going to the privatization with the aggregate yard, we could potentially face the same things.

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

Com. Erin Rutherford, Ward Anirniq, is expected to ask staff at the next council meeting to suspend the closure pending review.

Last year, the city’s waste collection came under fire when a private company failed to collect trash from 13,000 homes. In December, the city backtracked on plans for a new public composting facility, opting to send most of it to private contractors.

City: prices will remain competitive

Neil Kjelland, director of sustainable waste treatment for the city, said they expect prices for the supply of building materials to remain competitive and reasonable as the private market is established.

He said the closure comes after a review that ran from last fall to this year and that the private market is self-sustaining and effectively competing with the city.

Advertisement 5

Content of the article

“Consultation with industry and recent project experience has confirmed that there is sufficient competition from private industry for these recycled materials in the marketplace, and adequate private supply for use in city projects. “, he wrote in an e-mail statement.

According to Kjelland, the city also considered having demolition materials delivered to job sites by contractors and purchasing aggregate for city projects as part of the review.

Part of the waste department’s 25-year strategy included privatizing the construction and demolition recycling business segment, according to a plan presented to the board in August 2019. KBL has since taken over operations of the center Edmonton Waste Management.



Advertisement 1


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. See our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


Back to top button